Sunday, February 21, 2010


Confessions: I like my friend Elizabeth's blog   so much that I pilfer things from it. I used the same designer to pimp my blog after I saw how cool hers looked. I opened my blog to ads after she did. I recently added the gadget, "A Link Within" that she's had for awhile & that takes readers to previous posts with the enticing invitation, "You might also like..."
I stole an idea from my friend Paula's blog recently, too. I've added to my blog a countdown clock numbering the remaining days in my life (based on a common actuarial table.) Of course, as the man I love reminded me at breakfast this morning, that time could come sooner. I don't mind pondering this at all, & I like that he said that. I want to make good use of whatever is left, & I like the idea of seeing those days tick by & wondering if it might be off by decades. The idea is to keep focused. And to hold onto a wish my daughter M. spoke of right after the break-up. "I just want people to be good to one another," she said. Seeing the number of days shrink away one by one makes me want to work harder at that.
So now I'm stealing something else from Elizabeth. It's not hers actually. It's a poem by Wendell Barry that she posted some months ago.  "Forethought of grief"....I want to not have that.

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children's lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.
— Wendell Berry


Allegra Smith said...

I have always looked at grief like a cloud blocking the sun. I give in to it for a while and then I realize that I could use that time to do something that will enhance my time here instead of diminishing it by what I call self-indulgence, or plainly selfishness.

The heart gets broken and like any frail and fragile thing, unless it is repaired promptly it will have permanent scars. Tears are good to cleanse both the lacrimal sacs and the dust of the spirit. Once that is done, it is indulgence and not the kind offered by organized religion.

I refuse now to give in to grief, I would go out and plant, weed, prune even in the rain until the pain, expelled from my conscience turns into something useful, and in the process heals the wounded heart; I don't need scars to be reminded of those things that brought grief in the first place.

Ex-in-the-City said...

Thank you for that light-filled advice, Allegra. Your words are brimming with strength.